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~Written by Thomas, September 2004

Tourname: Spinetour 2004
Bands: The Wake, Norther, Finntroll
City: Gothenburg
Venue: Musikens Hus
Date: 17 Sep. 2004

Finnish label Spinefarm gathers three of their bands and sends them out on a small tour with five dates in Sweden. And it is a nice little package they have with the death metal bands The Wake and Norther and with the peculiar act Finntroll as headliners. When they reached Gothenburg it was perhaps a bad day to play on, with the competition from legendary band Whitesnake that also was playing at the same day at another venue. I guess that they don't appeal to the same crowd, but judging at the average age that was rather young, despite the 18 year age limit, Whitesnake supposedly stole some of the older fans.


Setlength: 40 min.

Norther follows in the footsteps of Children Of Bodom with fast and aggressive death metal, with keyboard and melodies as essential ingredients. And musically they did a really good concert with songs from mostly their two latest albums. Songs like Death Unlimited and Midnight Walker worked perfectly for the band and it was great to listen to them. But with many other songs that don't stick out or have the strength as these just mentioned songs, it tends to become a bit flat and the concert comes to be idle running. Norther is still a young band and have the potential to go very far but they need to loosen up a bit on stage. Vocalist and guitarist Petri Lindros is in my opinion the only one of the guys that can act with confidence on stage, but even he needs to work on his crowd interaction skills. The band tended to act stiff on stage and looked more concentrated then amused by the fact that they were actually on stage playing for fans. And can someone please tell their keyboard player that it doesn't hurt to smile, you will have to search for a guy that looked more bored and uninspired then what he did.

Nevertheless it was musically good even if it left me a bit disappointed, I really though that they would have grown a little better as a live act. They ripped of most of the tracks I wanted to hear but one great mistake they did was to leave out Unleash Hell, the strongest track they have done and they left it out. The concert needed that one and also their cover of the Final Countdown could have helped to make this concert a better one.

As I watched them last summer at Gates Of Metal I felt that they would need another album to mature before they would become really great live, since the potential is definitely there. But now a year later I will have to change that to that they need yet another or perhaps even two albums before they will hit greatness.

Rank: 4 of 10

(Sorry, no setlist)


Setlength: 75 min.

Finntroll made the floor sway immediately when they kicked their humpa humpa metal into action. They have really made their own kind of style with polka paced folk lore metal and I find it hard to resist their charming music. It gets absolutely wonderful with the melodic parts as they kicks it with a polka groove, fast, aggressive and folk melodic that caused some spontaneous dancing throughout some of the crowd. When they play songs such Jaktens Tid, Fiskarens Fiende or Midnattens Widunder, songs that holds the essence of Finntroll, it creates a kind of a magical feeling. Finntroll is a band that has fun on stage and fits much better in a small and dark venue rather then on a festival stage in broad daylight. Compared to when I saw them at Sweden Rock Festival this was way much better when there is an intimacy between the band and the crowd.

Finntroll played practically all that you wanted to hear from the band and then more, perhaps too much of tracks that didn't really work out live. When they played tracks that don't hold the distinguished Finntroll trademarks the show tended to lose its momentum and the magic that appeared to seldom was gone. They brought out songs that held a mix from all of their albums and they did it well most of the time, one of the most definite highlight came with the track Trollhammare, that also seemed to be very much anticipated from the crowd.

The crowd was small but highly enthusiastic and Finntroll got a well deserved positive response from them. It seems like there are more die-hard Finntroll fans than I expected since the intensity in the front rows was very high. As was the entire performance from the band. Apart from some of the tracks, the intensity and energy coming from the stage was fairly high and they do have some of that special stuff. A good show but perhaps it could have been cut down a little, leaving some of the weaker tracks out, as it felt like the show was a bit longer than necessary. Also fun to hear charismatic front man Wilska proclaiming that his Swedish is so lousy so he prefers to speak English between the tracks instead, and that comes from a band that has all of their lyrics in Swedish.

Rank: 6 of 10

(Sorry, no setlist)

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Thomas, September 2004